Pretty Little Liars Books: appropriate for tweens?
Pretty Little Liars Series Book Review
By Elizabeth of Busy Mom
Pretty Little Liars is a series of teen books by Sara Shepard. Like many of the books in this genre, these feature impossibly pretty and privileged girls, but there’s a twist: these girls who were formerly a clique in grade school, share a dark secret, their best friend disappears and they have some secrets of their own. Someone has found them out and threatens to expose them all and they may even be in danger. The elements of mystery and suspense makes these different from other “clique lit” books.
Would I let my daughter read these books?
I thought they were great (I may actually have to go get the rest of them after reading the first two) and I’d let my 14 year old daughter, a high school freshman, read them. However, I wouldn’t recommend them for preteens and tweens since there are some themes more appropriate to older readers as well as a missing person and a murder.
As a parent, you need to know that the characters engage in some less than exemplary behaviors including sex, drugs, shoplifting, drinking and bulimia. One of the characters is confused about her own sexuality and there’s a brief scene with girls kissing, but that part of the storyline is mostly about the character’s psychological dilemma.
These are issues that reflect society, but the writing doesn’t promote the behaviors, they are just part of the story. While there’s nothing outrageously graphic, if you feel that characters should be positive role models and books should have inspiring themes, then these books may not be what you’re looking for.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a good mystery, these books are exciting, I had a hard time putting them down and they’d be great light reading for a mature, older (14+) teen reader.
Published November 26, 2008.
Last updated August 21, 2013.